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The Emotions of Sports: An introduction

We begin a 10-part series by delving into the mind

Posted: July 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Today we begin our 10-day series on the emotions of sports. Today we begin our 10-day series on the emotions of sports.
Today we begin our 10-day series on the emotions of sports.

This is "The Emotions of Sports."

Signal Sports is bringing to you, over the course of 10 days (including today), a look at how emotions are a significant part of the games we play and the games we watch.

Today marks the introduction with two stories - one on the effect of emotions as well as a feature on sports psychologists and their role in sports in the Santa Clarita Valley.

As for the organization of these stories, we look to Robert Plutchik.

Plutchik was an influential researcher, author, psychologist and professor who developed a model that listed the eight basic emotions.

That model is known as "Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions."

Plutchik traveled around the world, lecturing about his work on emotions and was well-respected in his field.

His Wheel of Emotions is a widely taught theory.

His daughter, Dr. Lori Plutchik, who is a psychiatrist with her own practice in Manhattan, often remembers her father traveling around the world to do lectures on his research and findings on emotions.

Five years after the death of her father, she still gets requests for information about her father's research.
Including one by this very paper.

We felt this was the best and most notable organization on emotions.

So we apply it in this series to sports.

Plutchik's wheel listed the following eight emotions - trust, anger, surprise, sadness, disgust, fear, joy and anticipation.

"There was this test - emotional profile index - he looked at a lot of different emotions through research and distilled it down to (the eight emotions)," said Dr. Lori Plutchik. "They relate to every single aspect of life. People experience these emotions in life and experience these emotions to different degrees."

Plutchik said she's not a researcher, nor is she a sports aficionado. Yet from what she knows from her own work and from her father, she said she understands how these eight emotions play into the world of sports.

"When it comes to sports or being successful in any career, getting to medical school, or being a journalist, I suppose the amount to which you experience these emotions can have an effect on your success," she said.

So with that, we explore how emotions have had an effect on the history of this valley's sports and how the mind of the athlete works yesterday and today.

Today, we set the emotions in motion.




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